[skip to content]

Information skills

Information skills are techniques which you will learn during your time at university to help you not only whilst you are studying, but throughout your life, at any time when you may need to find and use information.

You will have developed some information skills already without even realising it e.g. looking for information on the Internet is an "information skill". The following pages are designed to help you use these databases and the information you find as effectively as possible.

Key information skills

  1. Knowing when you need to know something!
  2. Knowing the different ways to find this piece of information e.g. will you find the answer in a book or on a computer?
  3. Knowing which is the most efficient way to find what you want.
  4. Being able to locate and access the information you need whether it is on an electronic database, in a journal, or on the Internet.
  5. Being able to compare and evaluate information obtained from different sources.
  6. Being able to organise, apply and communicate this information to others such as citing references in an essay or creating a bibliography.
  7. The ability to learn - to take the new information and relate it to what you already know.

How you will need to use information skills at SOAS

  • Searching the library catalogue
  • Finding books & journals on your reading list
  • Finding books and journal articles on your subject
  • Using online databases e.g. IBSS
  • Searching the Internet
  • Evaluating information that you find on the Internet
  • Citing information in your essays

Developing your information skills